Relationship limbo is a state that is sort of in-between being single and in a committed, close relationship. When you’re in relationship limbo, you may not be sure whether the person you’re dating or sleeping with is actually your significant other or just someone you’re physically intimate with – a friend with benefits. You may be in a relationship that seems a bit superficial, lacking the depth that you’re hoping to create with someone else.
Relationship limbo can be tricky, though. While you may know that your relationship isn’t going to last forever or lead to marriage, it’s not necessarily making you unhappy. You just feel stuck. You know that something crucial is missing. So what should you do if you feel uncertain and unfulfilled by your current relationship? Well, the solution will differ between individuals since there is no easy or universal fix. In order to get a sense of how best to move forward, it’s important to consider different avenues and options. Here we will highlight some possible ways to get out of relationship limbo and achieve some peace of mind.
Signs of Relationship Limbo
You may not be sure whether you are, in fact, in relationship limbo. Here are some key signs that you’re in a stagnant relationship that isn’t providing you with the intimacy you’re looking for:
You have to text or call first in order to hear from them
Most of your conversations take place via text or on social media
Your conversations feel forced
You don’t spend a lot of quality time with each other
You only hear from them when they need or want something from you
They don’t act in a very affectionate way towards you
You only really feel appreciated by them when you’re having sex (and just after sex)
How to Deal With Relationship Limbo
If any of the above points resonate with you, then you may be in relationship limbo. But don’t worry. There are many things you can do to get out of this frustrating situation.
Clearly Communicate Your Needs
You might not be miserable in your relationship, but you know that something is missing. Clearly communicate your needs with your partner to ensure that you feel fulfilled in your relationship. If the other person isn’t looking to commit or be as serious about the relationship as you, then you can decide whether it’s in your best interest to maintain it.
If your relationship isn’t serious and neither of you is asking the other to commit, then there’s nothing wrong with continuing to date. Make sure to talk about your desires openly, though. While both parties in relationship limbo can sometimes assume a relationship is open, one person may not be comfortable with this. Also, if you do start dating and you form an intimate relationship with someone else, you may need to call it quits with the other person (unless, of course, you want to keep your relationships open).
Spend Some Time Apart
You may not be sure whether you’re really into the person you’re dating or what you want out of the relationship. Sometimes, this can call for some time apart. This will give both of you some space to see how much you miss each other, value each other, and what you both want from the relationship. If the other person is seemingly just into the physical aspect of the relationship, while you want more of an emotional connection, then the relationship may be too disappointing for you to continue with it.
Break It Off
When you’re in relationship limbo, you may spend an awful lot of time second-guessing the relationship, overthinking the other person’s intentions and feelings, and wasting time trying to turn the relationship into something that it will never turn into. For the sake of your own sanity, sometimes the best thing you can do about a relationship in limbo is to call it off. While you may be worried about feeling lonely as a single person again, you will at least have the time and space to focus on building a relationship that works for you.
Remember, you won’t be in relationship limbo forever. Either the relationship will run its natural course or one of you (or both of you) will take steps to clarify what you want out of the relationship. However, before making any drastic decisions, take some time to think about how you want to move forward. Also, keep the dialogue with the other person as open as possible. This will save you from a lot of stress in the long run.
About Sam Woolfe
I'm a freelance writer who is interested in mindfulness, mental health and the evolving concept of masculinity.
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